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Unformatted text preview: Nixons plan to leave Vietnam had two aspects Strengthening position of Saigon government on the ground so that it could survive withdrawal Negotiating with Hanoi a formal end to the war Why was a formal end to the war necessary or even desirable why not declare the war over and walk away? Without formal peace treaty, there was no way to get back American POWs If a treaty could erect workable barriers against PAVN infiltration and against a resumption of fighting, it could stabilize situation in Vietnam. If PAVN invaded anyway, provided legal basis to send American troops back in. American politics demanded a formal end to the war, as it would show that America had seen its commitment through to the end. Getting out too fast would be a problem, too Nixon needed time to make his Vietnamization plan work o Saw it as a 3-4 year program Needed time to develop diplomacy with Moscow and Beijing in order to isolate Hanoi from its two chief arms supplier Hanoi had reasons to avoid prompt end, too Position on ground had weakened greatly, needed time to rebuild rural networks. A deal in 1970 could cement Saigons gains on the ground Hanoi was convinced that if it held on long enough, troop withdrawals and American war-weariness would increase their position at the bargaining table Both sides convinced that holding out would work in their favor better than negotiating an immediate end Both sides lied, deceived one another and the public eye Paris Peace Agreement not signed until 1973, 5 years after negotiations began o By this time, another 20,000 Americans out of some 50,000 total American troop deaths had been killed Johnson, on eve of 1968 primary had promised in his resignation a negotiation for the end of war This opened up peace talks o These got nowhere, Hanoi was not willing to end war...
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- Winter '08
- Vietnam War